Statins Damage Gut Microbiome and Contribute to Antibiotic Resistance

Our digestive tract contains about 2 kg of microbes (the microbiome). These microbes, often referred to as friendly bacteria, help with digestion, the production of vitamin B and vitamin K, and play a major role in the immune system.

A recent study published in Nature has found that statins disturb the gut microbiome - they inhibit the growth of some potentially useful bacteria in the gut and allow other bacteria to flourish and become superbugs resistant to antibiotics.

The study found that a wide range of commonly prescribed medications interfere with the gut microbiome, including simvastatin.

The study confirms what has previously been seen in studies done on mice given statins. These previous studies have found that rosuvastatin, atorvastatin and pravastatin also cause profound alterations in the balance of gut microbes. And this imbalance is similar to what has been seen in diet-related obesity.

Antibiotic Resistance -the white paper discs contain antibiotics. Most of the bacteria in the dish on the left are sensitive to the antibiotics. The bacteria in the dish on the right are resistant to antibiotics.

Antibiotic Resistance -the white paper discs contain antibiotics. Most of the bacteria in the dish on the left are sensitive to the antibiotics. The bacteria in the dish on the right are resistant to antibiotics.

The human body contains about one third more bacteria cells than human cells, and scientists are still investigating the many ways that these colonies of bacteria live in symbiosis with us. The implications of the changes in the bacteria caused by statins is difficult to predict, however the changes are likely to weaken the host's immune system and ability to produce some specific nutrients. Researchers for the article published in Nature say that statins are also contributing to the global problem of antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotic resistance, according to the World Health Organisation, is one of the most urgent public health problems and “Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world”.

This is an important example of how medicine has become unsustainable. This will likely become yet another serious adverse effect of the widespread use of statins that will simply be ignored in the push to keep hundreds of millions of healthy people as patients for profit.


Maier, L et al. Extensive impact of non-antibiotic drugs on human gut bacteria. Nature doi:10.1038/nature25979.

Caparros-Martin, JA et al. Statin therapy causes gut dysbiosis in mice through a PXR-dependent mechanism. Microbione 2017; 5: 95. doi: 10.1186/s40168-017-0312-4.

Nolan, JA et al. The influence of rosuvastatin on the gastrointestinal microbiota and host gene expression profiles. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2017 May 1;312(5):G488-G497. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00149.2016.

Antibiotic Resistence – World Health Organisation.

Daily Mail.

The Telegraph.

Image Source: Dr Graham Beards at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 4.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

Cholesterol in the Human Body

If we google 'cholesterol' of course we'll find thousands of images portraying it as "artery-clogging", but what about the real functions of cholesterol? 

I have created this one page info sheet / poster in an attempt to re-educate about the many things cholesterol is actually used for within the body.

Please send this A4 sized image to anyone you think is afraid of their cholesterol.


-Print and use as a poster

-Email / hand out to friends and colleagues

-Fix to the front of your statin medication cupboard 

             JPEG version: cholesterol_poster_A4

             PDF version: cholesterol_poster_A4


Professor Sultan Wins Highly Prestigious Award

Professor Sultan, who features in Statin Nation II, has been honoured with yet another award. On Tuesday March 24th he was awarded the Title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu (ULBS) in Romania. 

This is the most prestigious title in the history of ULBS and was awarded to only five other dignitaries in the history of the University.

During the last 18 months Professor Sultan travelled to Romania on three separate occasions to perform complex thoracoabdominal repairs on eight patients with life-threatening aortic pathologies. He has also supported the cardiovascular clinical training programme at Polisano Clinic in Sibiu.

Those who follow the statins and cholesterol issues will be aware of Professor Sultan’s research article that was heavily critical of the widespread use of statins. 

It is time for the medical establishment to sit up and pay attention to pioneering doctors like Professor Sultan, who are moving way beyond the ill-founded cholesterol hypothesis in order to find treatments and innovative techniques that genuinely benefit patients. 

Cholesterol Drug CRESTOR No.2 in USA Most Prescribed List

Experts who support the use of statin medications like to keep saying how cheap the drugs are now that Lipitor has gone off patent. Here in the UK, we can often find statements like.... low dose statins only cost £1 a month per patient. Statin supporters have even laughed at the idea that money is the motivation for lowering cholesterol, insisting that the market for statins is not that great.

Well overall, the annual cholesterol-lowering market is still worth US$29 billion. And IMS have just released figures for the most prescribed drugs in the USA.

Between July 2013 and June 2014 more than 22.5 million prescriptions were written for CRESTOR, generating US$5.6 billion for AstraZeneca in one year. 

I have commented on CRESTOR before, but this issue is so important, it can’t be mentioned too much.

Crestor has become so popular, because of the JUPITER trial. The results of the JUPITER trial are summarised below in the video excerpt from $TATIN NATION. 

An honest assessment of the published trial data shows that Crestor did not provide any meaningful benefit. That's before we even start to look at the adverse effects of Crestor, which included an increase in the risk for type 2 diabetes. However, the situation is even worse than we think.

An article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2010 questioned the validity of the data from the JUPITER trial and raised concerns about the role of the company sponsoring the trial. Another article published in the journal Cardiology in 2011 raised similar concerns . 

The leading question is, what the hell happened to evidence based medicine?

For more on this, please see the MedScape article 


Ridker, PM et al, for the JUPITER Study Group. Rosuvastatin to Prevent Vascular Events in Men and Women with Elevated C-Reactive Protein. N Engl J Med 2008; 359:2195-207.

de Lorgeril, M et al. Cholesterol lowering, cardiovascular diseases, and the rosuvastatin-JUPITER controversy. A critical reappraisal. Arch Intern Med. 2010; 170:1032-1036.

Serebruany, VL. Extreme all-cause mortality in JUPITER requires reexamination of vital records. Cardiology. 2011; 120:84-8

Breast Cancer Issue - What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Might Kill You

Many people would have seen the recent media reports claiming that high cholesterol is a risk factor for breast cancer. The suggestion being that statins could be used to prevent breast cancer in the future.

What Dr Potluri of the University of Aston, who did the study,  doesn’t know is that researchers from the USA have already studied the effect that statins have on breast cancer.

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Washington found that statin use was associated with more than double the risk for breast cancer (both invasive ductal carcinoma and invasive lobular carcinoma).

Nowhere in the media reports was this mentioned. Not even the spokesperson for Breast Cancer Campaign seemed to know about this.

Also, Potluri’s ‘study’ is not published anywhere! It was simply presented at a cardiology conference. So we have no idea what data he analysed or how it was analysed. We know that he used a cholesterol level above 200mg/dl as being high, but we also know that most women in the UK naturally have a cholesterol level above this number anyway and this is perfectly normal for UK women. In any case, what is a cardiologist doing looking at breast cancer data, and presenting this data at a cardiology conference? Surely, he is just fishing for research money.

Dr Potluri is a complete disgrace to his profession and the general public deserve better integrity from the media.


Long-Term Statin Use and Risk of Ductal and Lobular Breast Cancer among Women 55 to 74 Years of Age Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 22(9); 1529–37. 2013 


$TATIN NATION II - First Intro Clip

Towards the end of last year, new cholesterol guidelines were introduced in the US. These guidelines have been shown to be based on flawed ‘evidence’, yet are set to double the number of people who take statin medications. 

This issue was covered fairly extensively at the time, however, it is important to keep in mind that despite the criticisms, and the flaws, the guidelines are still being forced through. Doctors will have little choice but to follow them, and millions more people will be exposed to the serious adverse effects of statins.

This video clip includes comments from Dr Malcolm Kendrick, who you probably know already, and Mr Sherif Sultan, who is a leading consultant vascular surgeon, based in Ireland. 

To read about Mr Sultan’s credentials, please click here

For Dr Kendrick’s blog, please click here

Mr Sultan’s published critique of statins 

Majority of panelists on controversial new cholesterol guidelines have current or recent ties to drug manufacturers - British Medical Journal article.

To support $TATIN NATION II please click here

It's Not Just Adults that will be Over-Medicated

During the last few days, people within the medical community, the media, and the general public have been astonished to find the level of incompetence associated with the release of the new cholesterol guidelines. It's ironic that we are still referring to them as cholesterol guidelines; the previous approach of 'know your numbers' has now been conveniently changed to 'ignore your numbers'. Which seems to be an attempt to try and put as many adults on statins as possible. It has now been widely reported that the risk calculator (even when it is working correctly) will over-estimate risk and will result in even more over-prescription of statins.

At the same time that this has been taking place, there has been a quieter, perhaps even more alarming development. Whilst the highly complex but considerably flawed algorithm is about to be rolled out on adults, the childhood obesity problem is being used as an excuse to monitor the cholesterol levels of children. We can now see how this is playing out.

Back in 2008, the American Academy of Paediatrics called for the screening of cholesterol levels in children. Reports at the time, referred to children as young as eight being put on statin medications.

Then, in 2011, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) released new guidelines that were endorsed by the American Academy of Paediatrics. These recommended universal screening of  9 to 11-year-old children and targeted screening of some subgroups. Yes, another 'expert panel' dictating to doctors. 

Not only do these recommendations directly influence how doctors prescribe medications, but the idea also pervades everyone else's consciousness. In particular, we should be concerned about allied health professionals and others who may unintentionally do the wrong thing.

A case in point is the recent announcement that schools in Nixa, Missouri. after receiving part of a $41,916 grant, will now be able to perform cholesterol screenings on 5th graders.

The cholesterol tests will be done under the Cardiac Kids Program, which is put on by CoxHealth and Kohl’s CARDIAC Kids.

Some parts of this program will be beneficial in terms of exercise and healthier eating. Hopefully it will help to reduce the amount of processed food and sugar in the children's diets'. But monitoring, and possibly lowering cholesterol levels from such a young age would cause considerable harm. Since cholesterol is used for:

  • the repair of damaged tissues
  • a large proportion of the membrane of every cell within the body
  • the raw material to make Vitamin D
  • the raw material to make all of the steroidal hormones, such as pregnenolone, progesterone, testosterone. oestrogen, and cortisol
  • bile acids to digest fats
  • key cellular signalling mechanisms (the “intelligence” of the cell)
  • the immune system
  • the production of new neurons in the developing brain – the highest concentration of cholesterol in the body is found in the brain and the nervous system

There is no indication that the Cardiac Kids Program is funded in anyway by pharmaceutical companies, however, because of the misinformation about cholesterol well meaning people end up doing big pharma's work for them.

Here is the news clip from the local news channel reporting the Cardiac Kids Program

70 Million Americans Set to Take a Statin and the Flawed 'Evidence'


The American National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), via the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have just announced a radical change to the way that statins will now be prescribed. Despite the apparent prestige of the organisations disseminating the new guidelines, this marks the beginning of another dark chapter in the history of medicine.

As we all know, the guidelines were previously based on arbitrary cholesterol numbers. This focus on getting millions of peoples' cholesterol levels below an arbitrary threshold has caused a great deal of harm. The situation was already horrific. But now, it is set to get much worse.

Now that the cholesterol thresholds have been driven down, the next attempt to convert even more healthy people into patients is to put less emphasis on the cholesterol numbers and just start medicating almost everyone regardless. It might seem like I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.

Both the previous guidelines and the new ones use a risk scoring system to determine a person's eligibility for statin medication. Various scores are put into the calculator such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, etc., and a magic number pops out of the algorithm that is supposed to represent a person's risk for having a cardiovascular problem of some kind in the next 10 years.


This model is of course completely flawed. It is based on not only commercial interests but also academic arrogance. The idea that we can precisely determine an individual person's risk with a few selected parameters is nonsense – especially when these parameters ignore many other factors that are known to be major contributors to heart disease. 

So, after the announcement, I downloaded the risk calculator and tried it out for myself. I entered different values for the different parameters, however, each time I changed the values a really unexpected risk score was given as the result, and in some cases I radically changed the values and this wasn't reflected in the risk score at all. In the end I gave up with it, thinking that there must be something wrong with my version of microsoft excel or something. Then, just before posting this blog entry I went back to the website and found this message:


It seems that I wasn't the only person having problems with it! However, putting this huge issue to one side, and assuming the largest health authorities in the world can eventually fix the spreadsheet,  the other major problem is the lowering of the risk threshold that is now going to be used.

Previously,  anyone who comes out of the algorithm with a 10 year risk of 20% or more was considered eligible for statin medication. Now, with the new guidelines, you only need to have a 10 year risk of 7.5% or more in order to get a statin. In fact, in the report detailing the guidelines, the expert panel even suggest that people below the 7.5% risk level could also be eligible for statins. 

There have also been some changes to the way that the calculation itself is done. All things considered, it is probably fair to say that (once the spreadsheet is fixed) the new guidelines double the number of people who are eligible for statin medications. 

According to the BBC, Dr George Mensah, of the American Heart Association, told the Associated Press news agency that the guidelines were based on solid evidence.

Considering the fact that statins do not extend life expectancy when used for prevention it is pretty impossible to believe Dr Mensah. 

We already know that the previous guidelines have led to the mass over-prescription of statins for people who, all the clinical data shows, will not benefit. If this was not bad enough, the harm that has been caused is now set to double. And this is thoroughly disgusting.  

So what evidence is Dr Mensah referring to? In the report, the expert committee state the following:

“the Cochrane meta-analysis, as well as a meta-analysis by the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists , confirms that primary prevention with statins reduces total mortality”

A closer examination of the data from the most recent Cochrane review was completed by Dr Uffe Ravnskov earlier this year. Dr Ravnskov stated:

“without statins your chance to be alive after a few years without treatment is 94.8 %, but if you take a statin every day you can increase your chance to 95.6. ... In the control group 5.17 % had died, and in the treatment group 4.41% - a difference of 0.76 %”

In addition, a previous Cochrane meta-analysis did not support the use of statins for prevention. The researchers stated the potential benefit was so small that it could have been down to chance. In this previous Cochrane meta-analysis they also highlighted the fact that around half of the clinical trials they included did not report on the adverse effects of the statin. 

The other piece of 'evidence' that is quoted in the report (the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists Study) is even less convincing. The researchers in this case did not publish the data for total mortality in the main report – in order to see that data you have to look in the supplementary appendix.

The table below is copied from the supplementary appendix published alongside the main trial report. It is immediately obvious why the researchers chose not to make a song and dance about these results. Since it is clear that the statin only reduced the risk of dying from any cause by 0.07%.


And what about all of the other studies that have shown statins have no impact on life expectancy? Such as the meta-analysis completed by Professor Kausik Ray, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Even if we can trust all of the data currently published by the drugs companies about their own products, the absolute best case scenario is that statins (when used for prevention) have considerably less than a 1% benefit and a 20% risk of significant adverse effects. 

When considering the adverse effects of statins, the expert panel should also have been aware of the more than 300 adverse effects of statins that have now been documented. As reported by after an extensive review of the medical literature. 

This Pretty Much Sums Up the Broken Medical System

Screen Shot 2013-11-09 at 12.48.54.png

The cholesterol-lowering medication Crestor (rosuvastatin) was the most prescribed medication in the United States during the last 12 months. As reported by Medscape Medical News in response to research completed by IMS Health.

Crestor topped the list of the most prescribed medications, with 23.7 million prescriptions. In terms of sales, Crestor was 5th on the list with total sales of 5.3 billion USD. 

One of the reasons why Crestor has become so popular, is the JUPITER trial. In 2008, pharmaceutical companies and much of the world's media trumpeted the results of the JUPITER trial, which involved the use of Crestor for people with elevated levels of C-reactive Protein (a marker of systemic inflammation).

The results of the JUPITER trial are summarised below in the video excerpt from $TATIN NATION. An honest assessment of the published trial data shows that Crestor did not provide any meaningful benefit. That's before we even start to look at the adverse effects of Crestor, which included an increase in the risk for type 2 diabetes. However, the situation is even worse than we think.

An article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2010 questioned the validity of the data from the JUPITER trial and raised concerns about the role of the company sponsoring the trial. Another article published in the journal Cardiology in 2011 raised similar concerns . Unfortunately, these critical papers were not given the same prominence within the medical journals as was given to the JUPITER trial results and were not mentioned in the mainstream media at all.

So, we have a situation where the most prescribed medication in the United States is causing more harm than good, and is being prescribed on heavily spun, highly questionable data. The questioning of the trial data has been ignored and millions of people just keep taking the medication.  


Ridker, PM et al, for the JUPITER Study Group. Rosuvastatin to Prevent Vascular Events in Men and Women with Elevated C-Reactive Protein. N Engl J Med 2008; 359:2195-207.

de Lorgeril, M et al. Cholesterol lowering, cardiovascular diseases, and the rosuvastatin-JUPITER controversy. A critical reappraisal. Arch Intern Med. 2010; 170:1032-1036.

Serebruany, VL. Extreme all-cause mortality in JUPITER requires reexamination of vital records. Cardiology. 2011; 120:84-

Someone Should Educate this 'Expert'!

Its just a few hours until the broadcast of ABC's TV program about statins. After part one of the two-part series was shown, some of the Australian health authorities asked ABC not to broadcast the program. Like thousands of other people, I am hoping the program doesn't pull any punches and shows the dreadful deception behind statin medications.

Professor Emily Banks, speaking for the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines, has publicly stated that people are likely to die if they stop taking their statin as a result of the program. 

Those of us who follow this subject closely will instantly see the irony of an 'expert' on medicine safety supporting the use of statins. I get so tired of these 'experts' spouting absolute nonsense without any scientific evidence to back up their comments.

For example, Professor Banks should be pointed in the direction of this Japanese study. The researchers found that cholesterol reduction leads to an increase in total mortality. In fact, the people in the lowest cholesterol group had more than double the mortality rate of those in the highest cholesterol group.

Kame C, Babazono A, Yamamoto E. Estimation of effect of lipid lowering treatment on total mortality rate and its cost-effectiveness determined by intervention study of hypercholesterolemia. Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2007 Jan;62(1):39-46.

Researchers in the Netherlands also found that life expectancy increases when cholesterol levels are higher. Those with higher cholesterol levels appeared to be better protected from cancer and infection.

Weverling-Rijnsburger, AW et al. Total Cholesterol and Risk of Mortality in the Oldest Old. Lancet 1997; 350:1119-1123

Further evidence that higher cholesterol is protective was established by Professor Jacobs and Dr. Carlos Iribarren who followed more than 100,000 healthy individuals in the San Francisco area for fifteen years. Low cholesterol was associated with a higher rate of infectious disease.

Iribarren, C et al. Cohort Study of Serum Total Cholesterol and In-Hospital Incidence of Infectious Diseases. Epidemiology and Infection 1998;121:335-347 21

Another study, looked at cholesterol levels and death rates in more than 3500 elderly Japanese/American men over a twenty year period. The authors of this paper confirmed an increase in death rates in people with low blood cholesterol levels. The authors went on to say that not only do these results provide more evidence that low cholesterol in the elderly is associated with an increased risk of death, but they also suggest that people who have low cholesterol maintained over a twenty year period have the worst outlook for mortality.

Schatz, IJ et al. Cholesterol and All-Cause Mortality in Elderly People From the Honolulu Heart Program: A Cohort Study. Lancet 2001; 358:351-355

The ABC program airs at 8pm in Australia, however, it should be available shortly after it airs from the link below:

Australian National TV Helps to Expose the Cholesterol Myths (Copying Several Parts of $TATIN NATION)

ABC's TV show Catalyst has just broadcast the first part of a two-part programme on saturated fat and cholesterol. The programme, presented by Dr Maryanne Demasi, is similar in several ways to $TATIN NATION (in structure, style of music, use of imagery, and some specific content).

It is immensely satisfying to see a national broadcaster finally picking up this issue and to see the message reaching a wider audience!

Towards the end of last year I corresponded with Dr Maryanne Demasi and she purchased a copy of $TATIN NATION. However, since then I had not received any further correspondance and I was not informed that ABC planned to make their own programme. I did try to follow-up with Dr Maryanne Demasi earlier this year, but I didn't receive a response. I found out about this programme this morning (after it was aired) from a post on twitter. Unfortunately, although $TATIN NATION has obviously influenced the ABC programme, ABC have not acknowledged this in their credits.

This is an example of the cut-throat world of corporate media and is yet another reason why independent film production is very close to impossible to sustain. 

The ABC programme is very good, and I highly recommend everyone to watch it. However, what is now needed is a proper explanation for the real causes of heart disease. I have been researching this in much more detail during the last few months and have become aware of some surprising results.

We already know that heart disease is an inflammatory condition and that excess sugar consumption is a major factor, however, there is certainly more to it than that. I believe that we now have a coherent alternative explanation for the real causes of heart disease. This new theory, in some ways, unites the different nutritional schools of thought. 

In addition, I want to look at the other so called risk factors for heart disease and the other common medications that people take for 'prevention'.

For more details of $TATIN NATION part 2, please click here:

You can watch the ABC programme directly from their website at the link below, and they also have a number of useful free downloads associated with the programme: 



British National Press Does it Again with Extremely Misleading Article

This weekend, at least 3 national newspapers here in the UK (the Daily Mail, the Telegraph, and the Mirror) printed an article suggesting that cholesterol-lowering statin medications had led to a 40% reduction in strokes in Britain.

Based on what was written in these newspapers, it was initially a little time consuming to find the actual published research they are referring to – this is because their description of the stroke reduction being attributed to statins didn't match any of the published studies in the medical literature. As far as I can establish, they are referring to this study:

Yanzhong Wang, Anthony G. Rudd and Charles D.A. Wolfe. Trends and Survival Between Ethnic Groups After Stroke: The South London Stroke Register. Stroke 2013;44:380-387

Although the 3 newspapers state that statins have been the main factor, there is no evidence of this whatsoever in the above study. There is only one reference to statins in the study itself, which reads:

“There are limitations in our study. We do not have cholesterol/pathology data in our stroke register but we do have use of statins. “

That's it. There is no further mention of statins or any mention of the impact statins might or might not have had.

So, the national press has just plucked this headline out of thin air. Or maybe this article came about as a result of a press release from the drugs companies or an organisation which supports the drugs companies? Who knows? Wherever it came from, it has deeply misled the general public.

This is not the first time this has happened, I wrote about a similar case at the end of last year.

Its no wonder that many people are confused about this issue.